Literacy rate remains unchanged by KASHIF ABBASI

ISLAMABAD: Despite their tall claims of placing a special emphasis on the education sector, the provincial and federal governments could not improve the literacy rate over the past five years.

In 2010-11, the country’s literacy rate was 58 per cent whereas in 2013-14, there was virtually no improvement at all, according to the Economic Survey.

The survey said that like many developing countries, Pakistan had not made adequate progress in the field of education and that 42 per cent of its population rema­ined unable to read or write.

It said that school enrolment was low and drop-out rates are quite high. The budgetary allocation for education has remained static at around 2 per cent of GDP for the past decade, with a big chunk being spent on recurrent heads, such as salaries.

Also read: Pakistan Economic Survey: Two years of growth and several missed targets

The survey said the literacy rate was one of the important indicators of education and its improvement was likely to have a long-term impact on other important indicators of national welfare. The survey, quoting the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey 2013 14, said the literacy rate of the population (10 years and above) was still 58 per cent, as compared to 60 per cent in 2012-13, which is a decline of two per cent.

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